What is Knee Osteoarthritis?
It is among the most common conditions that causes knee discomfort. It is the degeneration of articular cartilage of the joint. India has a higher prevalence of this ailment due to the custom of sitting cross-legged and squatting.
Patients over the age of 60 are most affected by this condition, although it can also result from traumas, infections, obesity, mal-aligned knee, and other illnesses that could manifest in younger patients.
Patients typically presents with knee pain, swelling, joint stiffness, difficulty in walking for long distances, abnormal sounds (crepitus), and deformity. Knee pain is initially mild, at exercise, relieves on taking rest. Knee pain is also severe when getting up from sitting position. In advanced osteoarthritis knee, pain is even present at rest.
A plain radiograph of the knee joint, which demonstrates reduced joint space, osteophytes, subchondral cysts, and subchondral sclerosis, can be used to diagnose this disorder. To determine the degree of articular cartilage involvement, an MRI may be required in some circumstances. To rule out further causes such rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and septic arthritis, blood tests are required.
Non-pharmacological treatment options include educating patients about their condition, managing their weight, avoiding crouching and cross-legged seating, using knee braces and walking sticks, heat and cold therapy, acupuncture, and knee exercises when the pain subsides. Analgesics, hyaluronic acid and steroid intra-articular injections, and collagen supplements are examples of medical therapy. High tibial osteotomy, arthroscopy, and total knee replacement are surgical therapy options.
Dr. Sameer Haveri
Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon
KAHER’S JNMedical College & KLES Dr Prabhakar Kore Hospital & MRC, Belagavi